Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
Moody Handbook of Theology is great alternative.
on November 11, 2014
For homeschooling, I like Towns' weekly scripture readings to go with one chapter per 52 weeks in a year. But now I have buyers remorse since I read the comments below about some of Elmer Towns' emergent church movement associations. But hey, it was only $5 used.
The ultimate concise alternative is "The Moody Handbook of Theology" by Paul P Enns, 2014. It is one of my most used Bible reference works. He covers every kind of theology and has many helpful charts. Multiple viewpoints are considered and compared with Scripture. Many interesting topics are covered like divorce and remarriage, lordship salvation and the emergent church. For further research, see Enns' book recommendations at the end of each chapter. It includes a good glossary and indexes for people, topics and Scriptures. The kindle version includes the Moody Bible Commentary on Romans.
Comments from Rapture Ready Forum:
5/16/2010: Is Elmer L. Towns a good author?
"I think in his theology he is dispensationalist and a free grace believer (pre-trib and he supports eternal security), but a lot of his theology is also based on secular sociology instead of the Bible. One thing that I found alarming in hindsight was that he was a very early reporter of the seeker sensitive church movement by Bill Hybels and the Purpose Driven Churches by Rick Warren in "Worship Wars". I think he mistakenly believed Hybels and Warren faithfully teach the gospel. Although to be fair to Towns, many other Christians would have believed that as well at the time (mid 1990s - "Worship Wars" was released in 1996) and I'm not sure if Towns has revised his opinions on Warren and Hybels 15 years on."
"Hmmm...well, I did a bit of reading and it sounds like he was very interested in church growth but was a stickler for fundamental bible teaching...so much so that he couldn't finish his Ph.D. at Garrett Theological Seminary because of it's theological liberalism. So far it sounds like he was very much into church growth for Christ and Warren used some of his studies and perhaps as you said at the time was not aware of how far Warren was going with his own agenda."
"He wrote a book [Perimeters of Light: Biblical Boundaries for the Emerging Church] with Ed Stetzer in 2004. Stetzer is on Mark Driscoll's Acts 29 Network board. Interesting quote from a review of the book: The authors remind us that “we have a preference when God does not” in certain areas of church life, worship styles for example. They call for a rethinking of the ramifications of ‘evangelical headhunters’ trying to convert post-moderns. [source verified: christianbookpreviews 0802415008] That gives me the impression that Stetzer and Towns view critics of the emergent movement as "headhunters" rather than "discerners.""